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Lac St-Jean - Episode 2 - The Fjord

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

In the early morning, I climb the hundred, or so, steps of the Ermitage St-Antoine observation tower to admire the view. I find that I should exercise a little more... but the effort is worth it. Then, I enjoy a good breakfast on the terrace while admiring the lake. The day is going to be beautiful and hot. Not a cloud on the horizon. I am surely living a good life to obtain so many graces.

Back on the road. First stop at the Chambord rest area, a must. The view of the majestic Lac St-Jean is impressive.

The next stop is at Pointe Taillon National Park. Crossing Alma, where the traffic is relatively heavy, makes me appreciate the country roads even more. Yin and yang...

This is my first visit to the National Park. It almost feels like being on the beaches of Old Orchard. Multicolored umbrellas litter the beach, like a cloud of Lollipops. I enjoy a panini and a beer from the Microbrasserie du Lac St-Jean. Then take a dip in the lake to cool off. The weather is really nice today. It wasn't until I went to the bathroom that my mind rebelled. I would really like to understand why, in the green-Covid zone, with virtually no one being sick or even positive, we feel the need to close every other sink and every other toilet. The first person to offer me a logical and scientific explanation for this decision will win a prize…

I continue my journey on the 172. Arriving in Chicoutimi, I am so impressed by the view in front of me that I forget everything, including looking at the road signs, and I find myself on the other side of the Saguenay River... without having really wanted it. Well, I find my way around the interchanges quite easily and come back on the 172.

No, I do not regret anything ♫

I had hesitated a lot between Route 170, south of the Fjord, and Route 172, to the north. From the first km, my doubts disappear. I made a wise choice. Short stop at the St-Fulgence rest area which also offers a view to make all those I have seen in several countries green with envy.

Obviously, I stop for the traditional soft cream in Ste-Rose-du-Nord. My advisers from Riders-Qc would not have forgiven me if I had ignored the Pearl of the Fjord nestled in its lush greenery.

I continue my journey on the 172, admiring the lakes and foothills of the region.

A damsel in distress

When stopping to admire the beauty offered by the Saguenay Fjord, I notice that my rear tire has a nail firmly implanted in its heart. Taking Vital Signs... 20 lb. So what to do? I decide to continue at reduced speed. A few kilometres further, I feel my tire sliding from right to left and it gets worse. Again stop, vital signs are low. My tire will have to be resuscitated, maybe even... transplanted.

I contact roadside assistance, but the network is so weak that I cannot explain my need and... the employee hangs up. Well,I look silly... Fortunately, a few minutes later, a Good Samaritan, a biker by trade, walks by and stops. After the usual greetings, examination of the patient, and a little chat, we come to the conclusion that there is only one solution. He has to go further to try to reach roadside assistance again. His phone is dead. So I hand him mine, my driver's license (for my contact details), my credit card (for roadside assistance) and he heads off to a place, which I hope isn't too far away, where he can get the network.

While waiting for his return, I try to ignore the trillion bullets that are circling around me. Besides, tomorrow is Sunday and the garages are closed. I can't wait to see how this all ends up and when I'll be back on the road. My savior returns less than 40 minutes later with good news. The tow truck is already on its way. Another half hour and it's Guillaume from Garage Tadoussac who arrives. Polite, professional, kind... even his tow truck is perfect. I had never seen one so clean, exterior AND interior.

New discussion on possible choices. He calls a tire resuscitation specialist for advice. Finally, we will attempt minor surgery. On his way to Tadoussac, he unloads my motorbike in the garage, takes me to the hotel and gives me an appointment for the next morning.

Yesterday my day ended very late and I promised myself a more relaxed evening for the next day. Finally, it's even later than yesterday when I finally take a shower. It has been a long and... interesting day. I can't wait to see what the rest of the trip has in store for me. Just before I fall asleep I have a grateful thought for my Samaritan who took a few hours of his life to help a damsel in distress and I promise to return the favor someday.

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